Fair Elections Act to be challenged in Courts
Thursday, 17 April 2014 20:21


"Fair Elections Act to be challenged in Courts"
 
For Immediate Release April 17, 2014
 
Newmarket, Ontario – The Honourable Sinclair M. Stevens, Leader of the Progressive Canadian Party, said today, "It is the view of the Progressive Canadian Party that Bill C-23, entitled the Fair Elections Act by the Harper government, will betray basic principles of democracy in Canada even if substantially amended.  Bill C-23 will deny the right to vote to large numbers of Canadians and as such must be challenged in the courts as unconstitutional."
 
Further, Bill C-23 undermines the role of Elections Canada as guardian of the integrity of the electoral system and would deny the responsibility of Elections Canada to promote democratic participation by Canadians.
 
"For these reasons and in ways indicated by scholars of Canadian constitutional law and political science published in the national media, Progressive Canadians believe the Fair Elections Act must be rejected as  unfair, undemocratic, and deserving of constitutional challenge even in light of amendments which are being recommended by members of the House of Commons and in Senate committee.  Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, is deeply flawed in fundamental ways and for its apparent intent."
 
Mr. Stevens continued, "The Elections Act ranks in importance with the Constitution, which cannot be altered by the Government-of-the-Day at its sole discretion."
 
"It is the intention of the Progressive Canadian Party to begin a constitutional challenge of Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, in federal court and in the Supreme Court of Canada should the act become law."
 
Bill C-23 was the creation of the Harper Government without consultation with Elections Canada officials, other political parties or Canadian citizens through public hearings. These facts were given further significance when it was learned that the author of a study cited by the Minister of Democratic Reform as supporting the Bill stated that in his view the government should either substantially amend or withdraw the act.
 
It is the position of the Progressive Canadian Party that whatever is passed into law the "Fair Elections Act" will be the work of the Government of Canada in inception and in passage alone and, in present or amended form, would undermine democracy in Canada.  As such it is unacceptable and must be challenged in the Courts.
 

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For more information contact:
"The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader
The Progressive Canadian Party
Newmarket, Ontario
1-888-666-3821
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
Progressive Canadians Argue Bill C-23 Should Not Apply in Next Election
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 16:53


"Progressive Canadians Argue Bill C-23 Should Not Apply in Next General Election."

For Immediate Release February 18, 2014

Newmarket, Ontario -
It is totally wrong for the Harper Government to use closure to speed through their proposed amendments to the Canada Elections Act that are favourable to the Conservative ruling party.
 
The Harper Government has a majority of the Members of the House of Commons, yet they had less than 25% of eligible voter support in the 2011 General Election
 
To make matters worse, they have chosen to ram Bill C-23 through the House of Commons when the media and the general public are distracted by the government introduction of the 2014 Budget and the Olympic Games.
 
They have drafted the proposed changes to the Canada Elections Act without consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer or any of his staff. They have not consulted with the general public and refuse to do so.
 
In the attached article Richard Cleroux in the Law Times, February 10, 2014, edition, masterfully elaborates on the partisan reasons the Harper Government is taking powers from Elections Canada.
 
Powers that when exercised have led to admission of wrongdoing by members of Mr. Harper's Conservative Party those now seeking to control them, officials of the governing Conservative party
 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper intends to use his long sought majority in the Commons, in Committee and in the Senate to ensure that Bill C-23 will become law. The ability of the Chief Electoral Officer and of Elections Canada to identify and prosecute wrongdoing will be removed and thousands of Canadian citizens will be disenfranchised.
 
Disenfranchisement of voters by changing the rules for voter identification at the polls in ways which disadvantage or may target identifiable demographic groups, possibly in partisan ways, has been described as voter suppression in the United States.  The poor, the elderly, students, the more or less mobile, and specific ethnicities are said to be targeted in American experience. Canadians have been warned against the danger of electoral reform of this kind by American observers of Canadian affairs.  For these reasons, it may be wondered if Bill C-23, the Fair Elections Act, might be better called the Voter Suppression Act if these concerns are true.
 
The National Media, is requested to consider, and unswervingly press, for that which alone provides fairness into the next Federal General Election.
 
The election of the next Parliament should be conducted under existing Elections of Canada law, rather than those changes being forced through Bill C-23 by the Harper Government.


Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader
The Progressive Canadian Party
Newmarket, Ontario
1-888-666-3821
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 04:45
 
Progressive Canadian Senate proposal enhances Trudeau initiative.
Friday, 31 January 2014 22:17

Progressive Canadian Senate proposal enhances Trudeau initiative.
    Building on Progressive Conservative Senator Elaine McCoy and Progressive Canadian Precedent

For Immediate Release January 31, 2014

Newmarket, Ontario - The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader of the Progressive Canadian Party, today congratulated Justin Trudeau on his historic decision to make all Liberal Senators Independents freed from the Liberal Party caucus in the House of Commons.

Mr. Stevens stated further that the Progressive Canadian Party has proposed to end the exclusive power to appoint Senators by the prime minister since at least 2010, consistent with former Progressive Conservative Guiding Principles and the intentions of PC Policy Priorities.  Stevens said the PC Party proposal will take patronage and partisanship out of Senate appointments by seeking the advice and experience of governance found in those appointed to the Queen's Privy Council and, in so doing, take the power to appoint Senators out of today's partisan hands of the prime minister alone.
  
Mr. Stevens noted further that the Progressive Canadian proposal for Senate Reform for a better appointment system would enhance Justin Trudeau's bold proposal to release Liberal Senator's from party caucus discipline by providing the means to recommend appointments to the Governor General with the legitimacy of government experience informed by good will and public interest untainted by partisanship.
 
Independent Progressive Conservative Senator Elaine McCoy praised storied journalist Jim Travers' urging the Prime Minister to "add brilliance to the Red Chambers's sober second thoughts," adding the creative suggestion to conceive the ˜Senate as Think Tank" (2007).
 
In March 2010, the Tory Senator added, "Yesterday, another voice weighed in on the conversation. [Writer and Progressive Canadian] Brian Marlatt's thoughtful contribution suggests that the Governor General take advice on appointments from the entire Privy Council, not just the PM. As he says, 'Charges of patronage and partisanship would be overcome; there would be no risk to national unity, as would happen if senators were accountable to their province; and senators would not be subject to party discipline, as they would be if elected. Senators would not be just more politicians.' "
 
"By convention, prime ministers have recommended Senate appointments to the Governor General of Canada since Confederation.  Prime Ministers in general have respected the need for balance in recommended appointments but the potential for abuse has always been there.  Until today, no prime minister has received a 'pledge' to pass his party's legislation from those he in practice appoints", Mr. Stevens said.  "All Senators named by the current prime minister have made such "'pledges'", Stevens added, "this is the real Senate Scandal, the Harper Senate Scandal."
 
Proposals to abolish or elect Senators will not end this new partisanship in the Upper Chamber; proposing firewall federalism by directly electing or appointing elected Senators will threaten national unity, Progressive Canadians argue.  "We welcome Justin Trudeau's initiative to limit partisanship but it lacks a means of joining excellence, such as you might find in the Order of Canada, with experience of government, " Sinclair Stevens said.  "The Progressive Canadian proposal brings together excellence and experience."
 
A quorum of the Queen's Privy Council across party lines and levels of government, comprising former Governors General, present and former prime ministers and cabinet ministers, Supreme Court Chief Justices, inducted Leaders of the opposition and premiers, could fulfill its historic role as an advisory body to the Crown by recommending to the Governor General persons qualified to serve in Canada's Senate in fulfillment of its duty as a revising chamber of "sober second thought."  "Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin and their cabinets are members, so am I, and individual distinguished Canadians," Mr. Stevens stated, "The provinces would be consulted through  their premiers invited as Privy Councillors when senators are appointed."
 
"The criticism of Justin Trudeau's idea would be less and the proposal enhanced by appealing to the excellence and experience in the Queen's Privy Council. The further virtue, as members of our Progressive Canadian National Council have said, is that Senators will not be accountable to the provinces divisively or to partisan party discipline, not even to voters; their legitimacy as senators comes from their tenure based on excellence and experience to review, revise, and recommend amendment to legislation and regulation without the temptation or power to obstruct an elected government dedicated to good will and the common good of all Canadians.  This is practical, doable change, not an impractical utopia."
 
Sources:
 
Senator Elaine McCoy, Blog "Hullabaloos" "Senate as Think Tank," April 30, 2007
http://www.albertasenator.ca/hullabaloos/?article&41
 
Senator Elaine McCoy, Blog "Hullabaloos" "Same Old, Some New, Ideas on Senate Reform," March 30, 2010/
http://www.albertasenator.ca/hullabaloos/?article&494

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For more information contact:

"The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader
The Progressive Canadian Party
Newmarket, Ontario
1-888-666-3821
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
Reinforcing the `Canadian Advantage` in Health Care
Monday, 20 January 2014 18:14
Reinforcing the `Canadian Advantage` in Health Care

For Immediate Release January 14, 2014

Newmarket, Ontario -
Progressive Canadian Leader the Hon. Sinclair Stevens today presented proposals to improve and safeguard the Canadian Health Care system and to reinforce the Canadian Advantage in the North American market place offered by the progressive Canadian system of universal publicly funded health care.

"Recently, American social advocate Ralph Nader pointed to twenty-two ways in which he sees Canadian health care delivery and access to be fairer and more efficient. All Canadians have access at a cost of 10% of GDP while, despite the best intentions, under Obamacare many Americans will still have no or limited access yet costs of 18% of GDP.
THE cost to Canadians of health care paid by income, sales and corporate taxes is much less individually than Americans continue to pay in premiums and are not lost with change to personal circumstances; and while wait times for diagnostic and non-medical services are becoming increasingly and unacceptably long in far too many cases in Canada, no one is denied access."

"Canadians must ask if our federal government is doing enough to meet its responsibilities to them and to the provinces to meet 21st century challenges, to meet the promises made under the Canada Health Act to all Canadians, and to keep the social and economic Canadian Advantage of Canadian universal public health care alive and well."

"Under ‘The Harper Government’ the answer is no. We are told by Minister Flaherty that the annual rate of increase to health care funding by the Harper Government will fall from 6% per year

to 3% in 2014. It is not good enough to blame health care funding shortfalls on the failures of previous Liberal governments. It is the Harper Government that is letting us down, today and until 2015 and with consequences which may last beyond 2015."

"Progressive Canadians are proposing a series of measures to address these concerns, to provide an example to present and future Canadian governments and to so to continue the Canadian Advantage of starting down the road to full implementation of public universal health care sooner."

Toward these ends, Progressive Canadians are committed to:

Restore Canada’s federal contribution to health care funding to 50% of health care costs in each province as originally contemplated in the CHA.

Ensure that regular schedules for federal contributions to health care administered by the provinces are negotiated according to need and CHA objectives so as to ensure long-term, stable, predictable funding of health care in co-operation with the provinces.

Fund health care research and development of health care information technologies that are accessible and transferable nationally so that patient focused care is available everywhere in Canada, and so that patient information and medical consultations are facilitated nationally with costs borne by the home province and the federal government according to best practices and patient need as the priority considerations regardless of jurisdiction.

Enable greater access to quality health care in rural, remote and northern Canada by funding scholarship student health care education in exchange for a five-year period of service in rural, remote and northern Canada; this programme will be patterned after similar commitments for service by medical, dental, and law students to the Canadian military.

Use the federal government’s power to persuade to secure funding and treatment for Autistic children and their families in all provincial jurisdictions, and through amendment of the Canada Health Act. *

* Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological condition that now affects 1 in every 110 Canadian children. While the cause of autism is still unknown, highly effective treatment does exist. "Applied Behavioural Analysis" (ABA) is recognized by both the American Academy of Paediatrics and the office of the US Surgeon General, as the only science-based treatment available to date. However, children with ASD have been orphaned by Canada's Medicare system by being denied such treatment under their provincial health plans. The Progressive Canadian Party recognizes the discrimination that Canadians with ASD face and will seek legislation to amend the Canada Health Act to include science-based treatment of autism under Medicare.


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For more information contact:

"The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader
The Progressive Canadian Party
Newmarket, Ontario
1-888-666-3821
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
"Progressive Canadians are progressive-Conservatives; progressive Conservatives are Progressive Canadians,"
"It was  Sir John A. Macdonald who, in 1854, first described the Tory party as "progressive Conservative". .
. and that the present government is not"
 
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